computer extremely slow, not a easy fix

I am an advanced user, so I have reset PRAM, fixed permissions, re-installed the system, did a hardware reset.

My Macbook Pro 17" i7 Mid-2010 pro has two problems, the trackpad does not work well for about 3 years now, to drag anything is a chore, don't know if this is related to the problem.

But the computer takes about 8 minutes to boot, then Skype which starts automatically only logs in about 10 min after I am using the computer.

Typing on safari takes one minute, I type fast and have to wait for the beach ball to see if what I wrote is correct

switching from program to program also causes beach balls, finder is often "not responding"

the RAM is not full, there is no process using up the processor on activity monitor, RAM has about 1.2 gb free and nothing using more than 15% of processor power.

I can use photoshop fine after it has loaded, but it takes a long time to load. Safari is slow most of the time, to type a google search takes minutes and I have to wait constantly for the text to catch up with my typing.

I can not load the ATH , holding D does nothing.

It was like this with OX 10.7, then I installed mavericks, did not do much, re-installed mavericks last week, nothing.

reset pram, hardware reset (holding down power for 10 sec) all disk repair options done.

after the hardware reset it usually gets better for 2 days, but not much better, but after 2 or 3 days it is unusable and must be restarted at least.

could it be related to trackpad bad contacts?? does it look like ram or HD problems? need some direction on what to try next.

Thank you

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thank you Erica, I will try the RAM tests, that is what I have been trying to find out how, since holding D on startup was not helping.

To clarify.. I don't have any external drives attached to the MBP, I did migrate from computer to computer for a long time, I am an user since 1991. But I also have an imac core 2 duo 24" that is on OSX 10.7 that runs much better than my MBP quad core i7, only falls behind on photoshop filters lately and the old video board which is not enough for photoshop CC anymore.

But I kept my imac running 10.7 because I need some iCloud integration otherwise I would have left it on 10.6.

I will run the tests and keep you posted!!

thank you again

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Here are some ideas off the top of my head (I've been a Mac girl for over 15 years, and I used to work at an authorized Apple Repair Center:

Do you have external hard drives attached? This can slow your computer down, especially if they are crammed full and you don't have them excluded from Spotlight.

Check your RAM. Read this http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509 and do some googling for "intel mac ram test."

Did you migrate from an earlier Mac to this one? You may have some legacy software that's messing with things.

If none of these help, try this. Clone (love Carbon Copy Cloner) your drive onto an external hard drive, and then do a from scratch install of Mavericks and see if your speed is any better.

I hope this helps! :)

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Seeing the spinning beach ball implies you don't have enough system resources. There can be a few different causes here. Given your current trackpad issues I would start there. Do you have the needed tools to open your system up? If you do I would do as Mayer had stated getting an external keyboard & trackpad/mouse (USB or Bluetooth).

Set up both and then open the case and disconnect the internal keyboard & trackpad (use a little electricians tape to hold the ribbon cable so it doesn't short out on anything). Did the system run better? If it did you'll need to try reconnecting one of the cables and see if you can isolate which is bad.

If this didn't help you'll need to look deeper. Open your utility folder in the application folder and locate the Activity Monitor App. launch it and then click on the % CPU column so the process/application that is using the most of the CPU is on the top. What we want to focus on is the process that is using better than 50% of the CPU in idle. If you can take a screenshot of the list so we can see whats happening.

If you don't see anything running heavy I would suspect your HD may need defragmenting. A good tool is this one: Drive Genius. Give their trial version a go it will tell you how bad your disk is frag'ed. You'll need to buy the full version to fix your drive.

Let us know what you find out.

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Hook up an external keyboard and mouse and see if your problems persist. Let us know your results.

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